Petition calls for 'fair funding' from Scottish government

Voluntary organisations and trade unions in Scotland are calling on the Scottish Government to commit to standard rules for public service contracts.

The petition – launched by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Community Care Providers Scotland, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Unite and Unison – urges the Scottish Government to "demonstrate commitment" to the third sector by agreeing a national framework for public service contracts.

The proposed framework would include a commitment by public sector purchasers to offer front-line workers in third sector providers the same wages and conditions as front-line workers in the public sector.

The petition also calls for five-year contracts for third sector service providers and an agreement on the "appropriate use" of competitive tendering to minimise disruption for service users.

Stephen Maxwell, associate director of the SCVO, said: "Voluntary organisations need to be funded fairly to cover the full costs of employing front-line staff at this level, particularly when the alternative funding sources will be under added pressure as a result of the financial crisis."

A spokesman for the Scottish government said it had made an explicit commitment that the third sector would be "central in achieving its aims".

The Scottish government had set up a task force - representing the third sector, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers - that would look at the relationship between the third sector and government at all levels, he said.

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